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APPLICATION OF FACILITIES MANAGEMENT IN SCHOOL HOSTELS
Facilities management can be regarded as the process of planning, implementing, maintaining and accounting for the appropriate physical spaces and services for an organization while simultaneously seeking to reduce the organisation’s total cost.This led to the consideration of the application of facilities management in school hostels with a case study of University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos. Research into the management of school hostels in Nigeria universities has been on the front burner in recent times as steady growth in the student population in tertiary institutions which has created the need for expansion in infrastructures including accommodation facilities. The aim of this research study was to examine the application of facilities management in school hostels with the objectives in examining the challenges in the facilities management of school hostels in the case study and the likely scenarios of maintenance in the management of school hostels in the case studies. A survey was conducted and data collection was done with the use of sample questionnaires administered to managers and students in the hostels used as case studies and the findings shows the operational factors that affects the provision of facilities in students’ hall of residence and presents the development of the operational framework for satisfaction in institutional halls of residence in the University of Lagos (UNILAG) which is the case study of this research. This research study presents a series of guidelines for use by facilities managers for the provision of good facilities. This will therefore be a framework for use by the authorities in charge of the facilities, the students in the halls of residence as well as the school in general. Finally, the research recommends various solutions in improving the school hostels with the application of facilities management that students and the facilities managers must be aware of the benefits of keeping the environment clean to make the facilities presents be in a good working condition always and students who live in residence halls will be held financially liable for restoration or replacement of facilities/items damaged or destroyed as the result of a fire and/or safety violation for which they are responsible.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Facilities management can be regarded as the process of planning, implementing, maintaining and accounting for the appropriate physical spaces and services for an organization while simultaneously seeking to reduce the organisation’s total cost. It involves the day to day administration and control of manpower of all the support services necessary to maintain business and allow for the achievement of corporate goals. Facilities management entails continued re-orientation of working space and environment, systems and services to support core operations and process of an organisation in order to achieve strategic objectives of the concerned organisation. It emphasises the management of peripheral services to allow the in-house manager to concentrate on core operations and processes. The facility manager’s broad education and training in construction, design, economics, law, technology and management, position him strongly to assimilate information technology and use it to broaden the scope of his profession and deepen the extent of his traditional services.
According to Okoh (2004), Nigeria has the biggest university system in sub-Saharan Africa with 114 accredited tertiary institutions. Nigerian universities have experienced a significant rise in student enrolments over the past decades. However, the surge in students has not been matched by a corresponding growth in student accommodation and the available ones have not been properly managed. Figures from the National Universities Commission show that the provision of student housing is less than 30% of demand. The vast majority of students live in privately rented accommodation.
Bulks of “first generation” universities in Nigeria have stopped funding student accommodation. Many of the newer universities have taken the private sector participation route, although the quality of accommodation varies widely. The student enrolment in tertiary institutions is growing at an average of 12% per annum and the provision of new purpose-built student housing is limited. This in itself creates opportunities for the development of student housing in many cities in Nigeria.
Akpan (2000) suggests that developers could partner with universities in build-operate-transfer arrangements on new accommodation. There are also opportunities for better management of existing accommodation. “While the majority of institutions may be reluctant to give up control, the deteriorating condition of the majority of university-owned halls of residence indicates the need to manage these assets in a different way.” Student accommodation should also have a strong focus on innovation and sustainability. “Developers need to be innovative in their approach to design, supplying functional accommodation, which incorporates the basic needs of students and provides additional facilities and services including laundry, internet services, relatively constant electricity, water supply, shuttle services, etc. The university community should be at the forefront of sustainability issues; this should be reflected in development and management (FRN, 2008).”
Okoh (2004) added that in the future, the availability, quality and cost of student accommodation on offer will be a vital component for universities to lure good quality students. The increasing number of students in tertiary institutions in several Nigerian cities has caused serious accommodation problems and campus hostels can no longer cope with demand. Establishment of private hostels off-campus was initially perceived as a solution but landlords have taken advantage of the high demand by upping rentals and students are reeling under the financial burden. They have turned to the government for help.
There has been steady growth in the student population in tertiary institutions, most of which have been expanding their teaching, administrative and research infrastructures. But no effort has been made to provide more accommodation for students and staff.
This has allegedly been a deliberate resource allocation policy, with tertiary institutions – at the regional and national level – uninterested in committing funding to accommodation (Akpan, 1998).
Many tertiary institutions possess large amounts of land on which student hostels could be built. But it is claimed that private sector figures on university governing councils have discouraged government investment in building campus residences. Critics say that owners of houses and land near campuses made proposals to university authorities to build cheap and affordable accommodation for students. According to reliable sources, some university officials obtained bank loans to build hostels that are operated under holdings whose owners are often their relatives (Owen, 1993).
“The reason for this strange policy is not far-fetched. Members of the property class who have invested in the construction of these hostels would naturally want their investment to yield dividends,” explained Akpan (1998).
Today students are having a rough time at the hands of hostel owners whose primary obsession has been alleged, is to maximize profit with little concern for students’ welfare. Students have also complained about the absence of a learning environment in private hostels. You get an impression that you are, at times, in a shopping mall when you enter most private hostels in Nigeria universities (Ubong, 2001). A portion of these hostels are transformed into mini markets with hawkers. At night and during the weekend the hostels are very noisy and movements in and out of the hostels are not restricted.
However, this research study will provide an overview on applying facilities management in managing the school hostels in Nigeria using selected University of Lagos Hostels as case studies.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Research into the management of school hostels in Nigeria universities has been on the front burner in recent times as steady growth in the student population in tertiary institutions which has created the need for expansion in infrastructures including accommodation facilities. But no effort has been made to provide more accommodation for students and staff. The problems of managing institutional halls of residence ranges from financial implications, misuse of resources, lack of maintenance, etc. This research study is seeking to find out if this situation is a deliberate resource allocation policy, with tertiary institutions – at the regional and national level – uninterested in committing funding to accommodation even in the face of tremendous challenges faced by students due to this poor scenario. The evolution of off-campus hostels occurred as a result of poor management of the school owned hostels. This development has not been able to eradicate the management challenges relating to school hostels. The research study will however provide an analysis on the application of facilities management, problems and prospects of managing school hostels in Nigeria.
iii. What are the ways by which management challenges in Nigerian universities hostel are curtailed by the facilities managers?
1.4 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The aim of this research study is to examine the application of facilities management in school hostels with emphases to particular hostels in the University of Lagos. The following objectives will be useful in achieving the above aim:-
iii. to find out ways by which facilities management challenges in Nigerian universities hostel are curtailed by the facilities managers;
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Findings from this study will enlighten the general public on the state of the hostel accommodation in Nigerian universities considering the problems and prospect. This study will encourage facility managers to emulate the use of facility management information systems or the computer aided facility management programs designed to ensure that an organisation’s asset are fully utilized at the lowest possible cost while providing benefit to every phase of a building’s lifecycle. This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied, it will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will cover the overview of application of facilities management in managing school hostels in Nigeria using the University of Lagos student hostels as the case studies which are case studies of Moremi and New Hall hostels.
1.7 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund will tend to impede the efficiency of the research in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The research will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Hostels: an establishment which provides inexpensive food and lodging for a specific group of people, such as students, workers.
Facility: Facility is the equipment that is for the comfort, enjoyment and protection of the occupiers as well as those that ensure the economic useful life of the property. Examples of such facility are; electric power generators, fire-fighting facilities, etc.
Management: Management is the skill of directing human activities and physical resources in the attainment of predetermined goals. It is also regarded as a social process entailing responsibility for the effective and economic planning and regulation of the operations of an enterprise in fulfillment of a given purpose or task.
Facility Management: Facility management is the process which an individual/organisation delivers and sustains support services in a quality environment to meet strategic needs.
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